Archive for March 23rd, 2011

Bats: Bug Eating Machines

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Millions of Mexican Free-tailed bats have begun their springtime return to Texas where they will bear their young and eat tons of pesky insects.

05—The Mexican free-tailed bat in particular is really valuable for agricultural purposes.

Meg Goodman served as Parks and Wildlife’s bat biologist.

13—Current research has shown that these bats can save farmers up to two sprays of pesticides per year because of all the insect pests that they’re eating. They’re eating things like the corn earworm moth and the cotton boll worm moth, among other crop pest species.

In addition to eating their weight in insects pests each evening, their nightly flights from inside caves and under bridges has become tourist attractions statewide.

14—Just their numbers and nightly emergences bring in a lot of tourist dollars to a lot of small communities and big communities like Austin. It’s one of our top tourist destinations right here in Austin. But they do provide a lot of dollars through nature tourism through a lot of our smaller communities throughout the state.

Certain bridges are favorite roosts of this flying mammal. And tomorrow we meet a man who builds bridges with bats in mind.

07—I would say that they type of bridges we build that would accommodate bats, we probably build about 30 of those statewide every year.

That’s our show for today…thank you for joining us…for Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.